Israel might have the power to tell itself and the rest of the world a story of victimhood. In reality, it has been abusing two million besieged Gazans for over a decade.
As the number of casualties on both sides of the Gaza border continues to climb, Israeli politicians are busy having their age-old argument: should we destroy Gaza? Erase it? Or should we send it back to the Stone Age? I propose we draw a different lesson from the horrific violence that, as of this time, has already taken the life of 16 Palestinians and four Israelis: we Israelis need to learn Arabic.
I am aware that my proposal is far less attractive to most Israelis than a “solution” that includes more violence and bloodletting, but in the long run it may just be the most effective. Learning Arabic, after all, is the only way to overcome our ignorance regarding what is happening on the other side in between rounds of “escalation,” which according to Israel always begins with the first Israeli casualty.
The first thing one learns in every introductory history course is that history is written by the victors. That may be true, but it does not erase the role of the vanquished. Perhaps history is written by the winners, but it is created by all actors involved.
Israel can tell both itself and the world any story it wants. It can talk about “escalation” only when rockets fall on the south or about terrorism only when its citizens pay the price. It can erase the barbaric blockade on Gaza, the endless starvation of its population, the snipers who kill unarmed protesters, the shooting at fishermen, the lack of potable water, the electricity, the infrastructure, the economy and the unemployment.Read More